In July 2014, National Guard troops in Texas were deployed to the US-Mexico border as a response to the influx of immigrants (mostly children) from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. While troops have been sent to the area on various occasions in the past, the deployment raised concern among some area residents and community leaders who fear that it could take a toll on the regional economy.
“If the deployment increases feelings of uncertainty about the area’s stability,” said Dr. Ray Perryman, President of The Perryman Group, “it could discourage business investment, tourism, and other desirable economic activity. The presence of troops has historically impacted shoppers and employees in a variety of sectors, discouraging them from full participation in their normal activities.”
In order to provide a perspective on the potential economic effects of the presence of the National Guard troops, The Perryman Group (TPG) analyzed the historic patterns in the regional economy during prior periods when troops were sent to the area and found that, even after adjusting for other factors, the regional economy tends to be adversely affected during periods of deployment.
Results of this assessment, which was conducted as a public service, are summarized in a report available for download below and were discussed by Dr. Perryman in Harlingen on September 5, 2014. In addition, the full press release is available.